Diabetic Hypoglycemia – Causes, Treatments and Prevention

Hypoglycemia is one of the most important complications of diabetes treatment. The risk of severe hypoglycemia is higher in elderly patients, those having comorbidities such as vascular disease or renal failure, pregnant women and in children with type 1 diabetes. Moreover, in type 2 diabetes, progressive insulin deficiency, longer duration of diabetes, and tight glycemic control increase the risk of hypoglycemia as much as type 1 diabetes. Diabetic hypoglycemia is a low blood glucose level occurring in a person with diabetes mellitus. In general, hypoglycemia occurs when treatment to lower the elevated blood glucose of diabetes inaccurately matches the body's physiological needs and therefore causes the glucose to fall to a below-normal level. Hypoglycemia can also be caused by sulfonylureas in people with type 2 diabetes, although it is far less common because glucose counter-regulation generally remains intact in people with type 2 diabetes. It is one of the most common types of hypoglycemia seen in emergency departments and hospitals. Certain medications used to treat type 2 diabetes can cause hypoglycemia. And hypoglycemia can also occur as type 2 diabetes progresses. You will see this often when it's necessary to use insulin. Hypoglycemia is when the blood sugars levels drop below 70 milligrams per deciliter. Diabetic Hypoglycemia Treatments
If you begin to feel one or more hypoglycemia symptoms, check your blood glucose. If your blood glucose level is below your target or less than 70, eat or drink 15 grams of carbohydrates right away. Diabetic hypoglycemia treatment typically, consuming sugar, such as candy or fruit juice, or taking glucose tablets, can treat early symptoms and raise your blood sugar back to a healthy level. However, if your symptoms are more severe and you’re unable to take sugar by mouth, you may need an injection of glucagon or intravenous therapy with glucose given either at the hospital or by emergency medical service. Your doctor will want to work with you to identify what has caused your hypoglycemia. If they believe it’s related to your diabetes, they may suggest you begin using a medication, adjust your dosages if you’re already on medicine, or find a new approach to lifestyle management. Severe hypoglycemia rarely, if ever, occurs in people with diabetes treated only with diet, exercise, or insulin sensitizers. Diabetic Hypoglycemia Prevention
If you are taking insulin, a sulfonylurea, or a meglitinide, using your diabetes management plan and working with your health care team to adjust your plan as needed can help you prevent hypoglycemia. Knowing your blood glucose level can help you decide how much medicine to take, what food to eat, and how physically active to be. To find out your blood glucose level, check yourself with a blood glucose meter as often as your doctor advises. Your meal plan is key to preventing hypoglycemia. Eat regular meals and snacks with the correct amount of carbohydrates to help keep your blood glucose level from going too low. Physical activity can lower your blood glucose during the activity and for hours afterwards. To help prevent hypoglycemia, you may need to check your blood glucose before, during, and after physical activity and adjust your medicine or carbohydrate intake.

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